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Spotlight on The Myeloma Foundation of Australia
By Andy Lebkuecher
Support Group Coordinator
01.31.05

Prompted by their health professionals, three couples met in August 1998 at the offices of the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria to discuss ways of encouraging the government, the universities, the scientists, in fact anyone, to dedicate time and money on research into multiple myeloma.

The couples were Robert and Glenys Moran, Brian and Roslyn Rosengarten, and Donald and Judith Brown. Pat Dobson, a Research and Development Officer at Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria, facilitated the introduction. At that time their own investigations had indicated that very little scientific research was being directed towards the prevention and cure of this troublesome disease in Australia. So the six members embarked on a mission to correct this state of affairs leading to the birth of Myeloma Victoria, an association officially incorporated on the 3rd of May 1999.

From its inception in 1998, Myeloma Victoria Inc., later the Myeloma Foundation of Australia Inc. (MFA), has concentrated its efforts on providing benefits to its members and subscribers in four main areas:

  • INFORMATION
  • SUPPORT
  • RESEARCH
  • EDUCATION

In September 1999, with partial funding from Novartis Pharmaceuticals, their first Myeloma Support Nurse, Jo Wilson, was hired. In February of 2002, Jo was succeeded by the present nurse, Kay Hose. Kay is on duty during office hours each Thursday and Friday. Her phone number is 1800 444 996.  If a patient or caregiver can not make direct contact at those times they can leave a message or email Kay at khose@myeloma.org.au. She answers questions from all over Australia about myeloma, myeloma treatments, and where the nearest support group is located.

The MFA has started a program called Myeloma Education in Regional Areas (MERA). The initiative is minister to the many cancer patients, particularly those affected by lesser known forms of cancer and are unnecessarily disadvantaged through not having ready access to information about their particular disease. Over a two-year period the concept has been successfully demonstrated by the association.

The Foundation also publishes an extensive quarterly newsletter called MyeVic which can be obtained by an annual subscription cost of $10.00.

Since the conception of the MFA, they have hosted dozens of educational seminars, workshops, forums and fundraisers with hundreds of people attending.

In conjunction with the IMF they will be holding an all-day Patient & Family Seminar on April 15, 2005 at Leonda by the Yarra in Hawthorn. The seminar follows the 10th International Myeloma Workshop in Sydney from the April 11-14, 2005.

The address of the Myeloma Foundation Of Australia Inc. is:
P.O. Box 2014
Mt. Waverly, Vic 3149.

The Officers are:
President: Robert Moran, rgmoran@myeloma.org,au
Vice President: Brian Rosengarten, brian@myeloma.org.au
Treasurer: Andrew Gibson, info@myeloma.org.au
Secretary: Irene Beattie
Ordinary Members: Peter Allen, Pat Dobson, Geof Day, Kay Didenkowski, Glenys Moran, Mariella Neuman.  They may also be contacted at: info@myeloma.org.au.

Please take the time to visit their well-written and informative website http://www.myeloma.org.au.


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